Mint with Box and XLR Ourputs A New approach
Where most DAC’s use a series of op amps or some form of active circuitry in their analog sections, the D100 is unique in the sense that it uses high quality passive components and a pair of Jensen transformers in the output stage. Digital conversion is done with a pair of the ubiquitous Burr Brown PCM1794′s operating in mono.
The D100 keeps it simple, with a small case (10.5″ x 2.5″ x 6.5″) and minimal controls. There is an on/off switch on the back, inputs for RCA SPDIF and Toslink with a selector switch on the front panel. For now, designer Wesley Miaw has chosen to forgo a USB input, but says that this will be implemented in the next version at a higher cost.
Because of the output transformers, the output is balanced XLR on the D100. You can use adaptors or purchase RCA to XLR interconnects directly from Neko Audio at a very reasonable cost. My reference system is balanced today, so I plugged in a pair of Shunyata’s newest Aurora interconnects and got to work listening. Having spent a lot of time recently with the PS Audio Digital Link III, the Benchmark DAC-1 and the Cambridge DAC Magic, I was very anxious to see how the D100 would stack up. As always, my main references were the Naim CD555 and Wadia 781i SE, which can also be used as a DAC.